At twenty-one, Savannah Levine-orphaned daughter of a notorious dark witch and an equally notorious cutthroat sorcerer-considers herself a full-fledged member of the otherworld. The once rebellious teen has grown into a six-foot-tall, motorcycle-riding jaw-dropper, with an impressive knowledge of and ability to perform spells. The only problem is, she's having a hard time convincing her adoptive parents, Paige and Lucas, to take her seriously as an adult. She's working as the research assistant at the detective agency they founded, and when they take off on a romantic vacation alone, leaving her in charge, Savannah finds herself itching for a case to call her own. (She's also itching for Adam, her longtime friend and colleague, to see her as more than just a little girl, but that's another matter.)
Suddenly, Savannah gets the chance she's been waiting for: Recruited by another supernatural detective, she travels to Columbus, Washington, a small, dying town. Two troubled young women have been found in an abandoned warehouse, murdered. Now a third woman's dead, and on closer inspection small details point to darker forces at play. Savannah feels certain she can handle the case, but with signs of supernatural activity appearing at every turn, things quickly become more serious- and far more dangerous-than she realizes.
This review contains spoilers in paragraphs three and four. Be warned!
I admit that I put off reading the last three books in this series for ages, due to the fact that I cannot stand the sight of the whiny brat that is Savannah. She caused nothing but grief for Paige with her whiny tantrums and bad behaviour, shows complete ingratitude to anyone who tries to help her and proves incapable of looking after herself on a normal day. So now in this book, Savannah decides to take on her first case, the ritual killing of three women. With help from investigator Jesse, Michael the cop brother of one of the victims and Kayla the nine year old daughter of another victim, Savannah looks for anyone who wanted the girls dead.
I found this book to be boring and repetitive, and it is more like a crime novel(a genre I dislike) than a paranormal novel. Savannah looks at all the suspects-the strange cult leaders, the married lover of one victim, his psycho wife, Kayla's gran etc. We get some driving around and some questions then Savannah flirts with Michael and mopes about Adam. Then we visit the cult again and have another run in with Cody and his wife. More flirting and moping. Out to the cult again. It just keeps going round in circles with Savannah having no clue how to solve the crime. Why do we need to visit the same people over and over and over to the point where I wanted to scream?
The characters were one dimensional and held little interest. Savannah may be 21 but she doesn't act any more mature than when we first met her. She arrives in town as a motorcycle sex babe and flirts with the first hot guy she sees, using her feminine wiles to get attention. Then she doesn't like the way the cops and everyone else don't take her seriously. So she pouts and complains about it as usual. Savannah feels she'll never have Adam so she gets cosy with the cop she is working with. This relationship feels forced to me and there seemed little point in introducing it, just to kill Michael off halfway through the book. Michael's death might make sense to the plot but having a 2 minute relationship with him and Savannah was a waste of time really. The cops, as all small town cops are portrayed, are of course sexist dumb asses who keep getting in the way and arresting the wrong people. Cody and his wife are like the evil pantomime baddies, thought they are more interesting than any of the cult members.
The plot was so OBVIOUS. I knew pretty much straight away that Jesse was involved in some way. He was never with Savannah when her life was threatened or when Michael was lured to his death, and Cody was far too obviously bad to be the killer. Jesse was always checking in with Savannah to find out what she was doing that day or what she had found out which made it easier to set her up. As soon as Savannah mentions recurring headaches and her magic being unreliable, it was obvious that she was being hexed by someone. I didn't click that Leah had set it all up though. Maybe if I had read all the books in the space of a week or two I'd have remembered about Leah but it's so long since I read the early books(years!) that I forgot she existed, so I couldn't work that part out.
It was all a case of could have been better, in all aspects of the book.Savannah's magic is compromised so we can't get a big magical shootout. The romance with Michael did not work and I suspect it was there to pass the time until Savannah and Adam are put togeher as a couple. The whole cult story I found totally uninteresting.
Good bits? I liked Cody and his bad wife. I liked finding out how the victims met their death. I liked that Savannah has to use her brain, not her magic to defeat Leah. And the end was rather intriguing when she loses her magic in a deal to give Kayla and Paula a happy ending.